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in Dies ist ein Forum in der Kategorie 04.12.2017 08:01
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MESA, Ariz. Malik McDowell Jersey . -- No matter what the record says, Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein insists he sees progress as he begins his third season in charge. It hasnt shown at the major league level. "The people that we have in place in this organization -- the coaches, scouts -- I believe are impact, and I believe in the processes that we have in place," Epstein said Thursday. "It takes time to turn our organization around. It takes time to build impact talent and to build requisite depth. But its happening. People in those meetings, the people in this organization, really believe that were on the verge of something special. And we understand that were perceived otherwise, and thats our fault because weve been a last-place club the last couple years. Were not protesting. We need to earn our way into a position where were championship contenders on an annual basis, and we feel like that is certainly moving in the right direction." It hasnt been an easy process, and while success might be on the horizon, it doesnt appear to be at hand. Pitchers and catchers reported on Thursday, and for the Cubs, it doesnt look like much will be different this season. They were relatively quiet in the off-season, although they did hire manager Rick Renteria to replace the fired Dale Sveum and made a run at star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, but mostly it looks like they are in for more rough times at the major league level as they wait for their top prospects to develop in the minors. Their most recent winning season was when they went 83-78 under Lou Piniella in 2009. With four straight sub-.500 seasons, theyve matched their longest streak since 1984 to 1988. And another losing season would put them on their longest run since they finished below .500 six years in a row from 1978 to 1983. For now, the Cubs continue to sell hope, a promise that better days are coming. They tout their minor league system, and while renovations to Wrigley Field remain on hold, they can point to new facilities in the Dominican Republic along with a spring training home that just opened. As for the Cubs record, it cant get much worse. Theyve dropped 91 or more games each of the past three years and are coming off a two-year run under Sveum that produced a 127-197 record. Theyre hoping Renteria will provide the right atmosphere for young major league players such as shortstop Starlin Castro and first baseman Anthony Rizzo as well as top prospects Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Kris Bryant. They believe they have three solid starters in Travis Wood, Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson, although Jackson struggled last season and Samardzija is a potential trade chip after he was unable to reach a long-term agreement and took a one-year deal. Jake Arrieta, a candidate to start, might not be ready for the beginning of the season because of tightness in his right shoulder. General manager Jed Hoyer revealed Thursday that Arrieta, acquired from Baltimore last July, experienced some tightness this winter and is being brought along slowly. Hoyer announced Arrietas injury after confirming the Cubs agreed to one-year contracts with starting pitchers Jason Hammel and James McDonald. Both could be candidates to be traded before the deadline if they succeed, considering thats exactly what the Cubs did with Paul Maholm and Scott Feldman the past two seasons. "We know we have some numbers now," Hoyer said. They also have hope that better days are coming. "Theres a real dichotomy between how the organization is perceived from the outside and how we look at it internally and the morale that we have internally," Epstein said. NOTES: Renteria tabbed newcomer Jose Veras as the closer. ... Hoyer basically dismissed the idea of moving Castro to another position even though he and the White Soxs Alexei Ramirez led major league shortstops with 22 errors last season and Baez is in the pipeline. "Castros our shortstop," Hoyer said. "We have all the confidence in the world that hell remain our shortstop and hell keep working hard and keep improving. And he knows theres (room) to improve there." ... Hoyer said reliever Kyuji Fujikawa will soon start throwing off the mound. Hes coming off Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow. ... Epstein said the Cubs will look to draft pitchers going forward, although not necessarily with their first pick. Kam Chancellor Jersey . Lawrie was hit on the hand by Cincinnati pitcher Johnny Cueto in the second inning of Sundays 4-3 loss to the Reds. Chris Carson Jersey . Luke Wileman and I stood in the corridor outside of the Vancouver Whitecaps dressing room at BC Place in Vancouver. http://www.seahawksfansprostore.com/Black-Eddie-Lacy-Seahawks-Jersey.html?cat=1000 . Ferrer will play Mikhail Youzhny on Sunday after he defeated Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 6-4 in an all-Russian semifinal. "Youzhny is a good player," Ferrer said.MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Kyle Busch has seen it time and again at Martinsville Speedway. Driving down pit road, heading back onto the track and in contention for the lead, Busch is used to seeing the pole-sitter gun the engine just off the jack and reassume the race lead. Busch hopes to finally get to experience that for himself at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday after earning the pole on NASCARs smallest, tightest track for the first time in 19 career starts. "I think thats a great thing for us," Busch said after winning the pole with a lap at 99.674 mph. "We get to pit there and of course drop the jack and just lunge across the line and be good. "You need to still run up front all day. I think that its a great opportunity for us to pick up some spots say if were second, third, fourth, whatever, but you definitely always want to stay as close to the front as you can and try not to use that box as much as some guys have in the past." The pole is the 14th of Buschs career. In an interesting twist under NASCARs new knockout qualifying system, Busch won it while Joey Logano set a track record. That came at 100.201 mph during the first phase of two-session qualifying. All 44 cars competed in the 30-minute first session, and the top 12 moved into the 10-minute phase two. Denny Hamlin earned the No. 2 starting spot with a lap at 99.548 mph, and will be followed on the starting grid by Logano and Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. That puts Busch in some pretty accomplished company because Hamlin (4), Johnson and Gordon (8 each) have won a lot. Busch, though, is coming off a victory last week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and while he said it wasnt dominaating, it gave him hope that the Joe Gibbs Racing teams are coming together. Michael Wilhoite Jersey. "It just seems to be working well right now, whatever is working," he said. Hamlin, who promised earlier in the day that he would win on Sunday, wasnt in love with the outside starting spot because it can be tricky to get down to the bottom on restarts from the outside, said nothing that happened in practice or qualifying made his change his view of how it can all unfold. "I knew, even going into this weekend, I knew we were going to be really good contenders and be in the mix anyway," he said. "I feel like after running a couple laps of practice I felt like this was a car that was capable of winning. I think with tire management being more of a factor than its ever been, it kind of lends itself to my driving style even more. For that reason I think well be tough on Sunday." Logano has two top-10 finishes on the 0.526-mile oval, but none since 2010. "So weve got a track record, but we dont have a pole. How does that work?" he asked. A solid pit position, he said, could help turns things around on Sunday. "Obviously, the pit stall is very important, especially here. Its a dangerous pit road, so you want to get a nice spot you can get in and out of, but obviously here its a slow pit road and you can make up a lot with timing lines on pit road," he said. "For that reason alone its big, and thats worth multiple spots throughout the race when youre thinking about making a lot of pit stops." Danica Patrick qualified 10th, her best starting spot in a race not held at Daytona. Her previous best starting position was 21st, accomplished twice last season. 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